30 Days of Kindness Challenge: Not Always Easy, but Always Worth It

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Sometimes it’s the dirty little things.  You know, like taking out the trash.  As I drove up the driveway, I saw that Jen had already moved the trash out to the curb.  To give you a little background, taking out the trash is my job and she did it for me. Maybe it was because I had been sick all week.  Maybe she felt like surprising me.  Honestly, it didn’t matter why she did it.  Jen made me smile.  It was a completely unexpected, unrequested act of kindness from Jen.

Here at The {K}not Project, we’re getting to the end of the Kindness Challenge.  It’s been a “challenge” to keep up with, that’s for sure, which is a strange thing to admit.  It should be easy, really second nature, to be kind to those we love, but as I’ve begun to discover, that is not the case. Why?

It’s easy to fall back into routine.  We’ve all been there.  You decide to try something new.  At the beginning, it’s easy, exciting.  You make time and energy for this new thing.  You wake up early, or you take the extra time needed to work it into your schedule.  But after awhile, the newness wears off.  The rest of your life starts to creep back in.  Before you know it, you realize that new thing you wanted to start, you’ve stopped doing altogether.

When we fall into routine, it’s easy to take things for granted.  However, to be successful in this challenge we need conscious, consistent intentionality.  No doubt, it’s work. 

We have to keep the thoughts and feelings of others in the forefront of our minds. 

We have to take time out of our day and pause to consider someone else other than ourselves. In the busyness that is our lives, that’s hard to do, but worth the effort. 

Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far in this challenge:

It’s not about me. 

I can’t be looking for validation or fulfillment from other people.  That role belongs to God alone.  I learned through Ransomed Heart ministries that each gender has a question.  For men, the question is “Do I have what it takes?”  For women, the question is “Will I be chosen?” We are designed with these questions in us.  Bad things happen when we take our question to anyone or anything else besides God.  Think about the wrong choices in your own life.  If you boil each one down to the motivating factor, you’ll probably find that question waiting for you.

I’ve asked God to teach me how to see other people with His eyes.

This has been key for me.  It’s related to the first point but it takes a step further.  One way I’ve done this is to pray daily that God would place the cross of Jesus between myself and everyone else and only allow His love to be between me and others.  This pulls out inappropriate thoughts at the root.  It focuses my attention in the proper direction and in the correct context.  We are all made in the image of God.  As such, we are all beautiful creatures to be loved and respected.  In addition, we are all struggling with the sin in our lives.  I should be there for love and support, not enticing myself or others into that sin. 

I’m not sure where you are in your own kindness challenge, but I want to encourage you if you haven’t already started.  If you have started, great!  Keep it up.  I know it’s hard work.  It’s worthy of your time and efforts!  For those of you in the challenge or if you’ve completed it, please comment with what you learned and/or what you struggled with during the challenge.  This is a community that loves and supports one another!  Let’s show it!